In the last week of October, Sant Josep de sa Talaia pays tribute to salt with a fair full of interesting proposals for everyone.
Ibiza’s salt flats are located in the municipality of Sant Josep de sa Talaia, which has been organising the Salt Fair, or Feria de la Sal for years now, as a way of shining a spotlight on the heritage and culture of the salt-mining industry. Three days full of activities that revolve around the universe of words, customs, tools, techniques and gastronomy generated by the white gold in Ibiza, the island’s main economic driving force from the 1950s on.
The festival activities are free, and it brings experts, visitors and residents of all generations together with the world of salt. The setting is the Ses Salines Natural Park, which protects the ponds where salt has been harvested for centuries now, and in it theatre productions, exhibitions, presentations and concerts are held. Workshops are organised for children where they can learn to harvest salt manually, amongst other tasks.
One of the most outstanding activities is the lighting of the bonfire which was used of old to inform the workers in the villages that the salt harvest was beginning. There is also a dramatization of the salpassa, the ritual in which the priest would bless houses by leaving rosemary, water and salt in the doorways. And there is no lack of demonstrations of ball pagès, typical Ibizan dances in which the women wear emprendades, gold jewels that showed off the family dowry.
In addition to all this, the fair enables one to learn about the ancestral uses of salt, which served as a preservative for bones, olives and fish, with the possibility of tasting dishes like salted pork bones with cabbage (ossos amb col).